The one where you’re no longer a finalist…

I haven’t only just realised this; my brain isn’t that deadened with endless nappy changes and night feeds. Not just yet, anyway. It’s just that I haven’t been able to work out exactly how I want to put this. I still don’t really know. I’m just going to go with the flow.

So the Mads blog award finalists have been announced and, despite being nominated in two categories, I am not a finalist. This means I am no longer a finalist, since I remained a finalist after not winning in my category last year… or something like that. I think I want to blog about this.

I’ve been reading comments here and there and posts like this one from Molly at Mother’s Always Right, which are questioning success in blogging. Molly asks how we define blogging success and my response to her was:

“I think it depends on WHY u blog. I started to raise awareness of birth trauma and to get my own head around what happened. I think most days I am successful.”

Others commented along similar lines and the consensus seems to be that you get out of blogging what you put into it. So how do those bloggers who used to be finalists feel now that they aren’t finalists anymore?

I have to admit that I was a little bit disappointed, but certainly not surprised. Since the winners were announced last year, life has changed immeasurably for me. I kind of had to let blogging step aside to make room for new things. Like babies and things like that. I know I didn’t put into my blog what I had been putting in. I let things go. Oh, I was still writing, but I wasn’t really blogging. To be blogging, you need to be doing a whole lot more than just writing.

I have the utmost respect for those bloggers who are once more finalists in the awards. These are the hardcore bloggers who work damn hard on their blogs and at being bloggers. They read, they comment, they interact, they take part in memes, linkys, campaigns and debates. They dedicated huge amounts of their time towards embracing the blogging community and they are ever evolving and moving their blogs onwards and upwards. I have to say that some bloggers who also did not make the final cut are also doing this. But anyway, much respect to those who are finalists. It’s blummin hard work.
*edit: Also, and this applies to ALL the finalists, each blog that has made the final cut is there due to the outstanding quality of the writing. No matter how much they read, or comment or anything else. Some of those finalists are just as busy as the rest of us and still manage to stand out from the crowd. You have to admire that.
I’ve finally found the time to read once more and I am in awe of the amount of blogs out there. My inbox is now stuffed with new blogs and my timeline is buzzing with posts I need to read. I am commenting more on posts that are springing out to me and I am starting to get myself back into the whole blogging thing again.

So I’m no longer a finalist. But I am still here. And to those of us who also are no longer finalists but are still here, well done. Life gets in the way (new babies, new jobs, new priorities) but at least we still remembered that we love writing and reading and engaging and bloggging.


MAD Blog Awards 2012

This year’s finalists are all pretty awesome. Please take a moment or two to vote for your favourite here. Some of my favourites are:

The Boy and Me

Mammy Woo

SAHM loving it

Diary of a premmy mum

Diary of a first child

Red Ted Art

Northern Mum

Mummy Whisperer

Not my year off



Patch of Puddles

Multiple Mummy

Go take a look…


The Gallery: morning

This is the first gallery I’ve joined in with in ages. And I’m fairly late to the party. But this was my morning anyway. And yes, it did begin with a healthy dose of “You’re not Daddy!” but that will definitely  probably be another post. So, anyway. My morning.

7.00- get up, peel the baby from me and take a shower

7.10- attempt to make myself look human

7.20- give up trying to make myself look human

7.30- get The Big One out of bed

7.40- tell The Big One to get dressed

7.45- remind The Big One she was getting dressed

7.50- remind the Big One- AGAIN- that she was getting dressed

7.51- get the toddler out of bed/ ignore protests linked to my identity

7.55- get the baby out of bed/ delight in her pleasure at my identity


8.05- breakfast for all:


8.10- Ask The Big One to get her hair brush/ feed baby/ dress the toddler/ find shoes

8.15- attempt to find The Big One’s hairbrush with a baby attached to my chest

8.20- settle the baby on her play mat

8.21- brush and plait The Big One’s hair, ignoring her wails of pain and moving her head back to the front every time she cranes to watch Gumball. Clean up the baby’s poo explosion

8.25- teeth:


8.28- line up everybody, line up, line up ! Curse myself for watching Bubble Guppies and loving that song

8.30- all kids in seats, after convincing the toddler that three teddies are quite enough otherwise there will be no space in the seat for him

8.35- back to the house to pick up forgotten reading wallet. Remind The Big One that it is her reading wallet, not mine

8.40- TRAFFIC.

Just a typical morning really…



Breastfeeding and birth trauma

My son

I totally believe that breastfeeding saved my son and I.

My breastfeeding journey as a mother has been varied. At times it’s been a little like travelling one of those perilous roads on a mountain side; you think you might slip but you just manage to keep going. At other times it’s been like a drive on a Sunday afternoon, along the sea front with the wind in your hair and the world at your baby’s feet. Just now, I’m pootling along quite happily. No, scratch that. I’m cruising. It’s never been like this before.

I was only 26 when my eldest was born. That seems so young! Stop laughing back there, you blasted young ‘uns… So I was only 26 and easily embarrassed so my breastfeeding journey was a little bumpy at times. I used to feel resentment at having to hide away feeding for such long periods. I hated listening to people having SO MUCH fun without me, while I was stuck with a baby clamped to my chest. My eldest, however, loved breastfeeding. So much so that any attempt at introducing a bottle was met with shrill cries and severe back arching. She was all about the real thing, that child.

When I fell pregnant with my son, I was determined to introduce a bottle a little sooner. I still wanted to breastfeed, but I wanted the choice to give a bottle if need be. How was I to know that other things were going to get in the way of all my carefully laid plans?

My son’s birth left me tattered. He was placed into my numb arms just moments after I awoke from surgery and he felt like nothing but a dead weight. He was pushed towards my breast and they helped him to latch on. He screamed. I cried. And this went on. They insisted he would feed from me and all the time, I was like a robot. He would cry, I would put him to the breast. But it felt so different. It hurt. Physically and emotionally. It was a pain I just cannot describe.

You can bet we introduced that bottle. And then the guilt set in.  I had to bond with this baby they were saying was mine. I had to give him the same love I had given his sister. I had to hold him to my breast and smell the top of his head and enjoy being with him.

But I couldn’t.

Each time we sat in the half light of the night, my son and I, we cried. He cried with frustration- perhaps- and I cried with pain. Oh, the nipples had long since ‘toughened up’. It was a different pain. Guilt. Remembering how special it had been with my eldest. Remembering how close we had felt. Wondering why it wasn’t like that this time.

I’m not sure how it happened.

Each time we sat in the half light of the night, my son and I, we became stronger. As I held him to my breast and he clutched onto my skin like I might disappear… we bonded. Slowly. One night he smiled at me.

We only lasted four months, for reasons beyond my control. But we did it. And it saved us.

Today I am 13 weeks into breastfeeding my youngest and that is all thanks to my son.

Breastfeeding and birth trauma don’t often go together in a sentence. But breastfeeding helped me to make the first step towards overcoming my birth trauma. Breastfeeding is still helping me to overcome my birth trauma.


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